If you ask 20 working class individuals how they got their jobs, 80% should tell you a story of how a friend, a family member, a colleague or an online connection got them the jobs they have. This is how networking works. Recently, it was discovered that two thirds of all jobs are gotten through networking. The more reason why you need to update your networking skills.
1. Understand that to network effectively, you need self assurance, poise and personal conviction.
2. Identify the fields you wish to work in. Doing this will help you determine the type of network to develop.
3. Keep your focus on meeting the ‘right’ people. Getting these people requires your time and preparation.
4. Grow your network starting from those closest to you. Your family, your close friends and your neigbours might possess the contact of someone who is to play a key role in fulfilling your dream goals.
5. Organize your contacts by separating top- priority contacts from low-priority ones. This helps to easily access contacts on the go.
6. Ask those in your network for advice not for a job. Questions about job openings from your contacts are likely to get you a ‘no’. Asking for industry advice and job insights from those in your network will position you and your contact into a conversation that is progressive. If there is a job offer, you’ll be remembered easily and immediately.
7. Get comfy on the phone. Good telephone communication skills are important.
8. Show an interest in your contacts. Networking is a two way street. Show how much you care. Be honest with your contacts and offer them advice, your time and information in return for their help.
10. If a contact cannot help you on a particular issue, he/she can help you on another one. He/she can also refer you to someone who can help you. Do not discard anyone.
11. Be current; have information at your fingertips. The more you know; the more indispensible you are to the people in your network. They will feel particularly grateful to have you in their company.
12. Be well prepared to converse wherever you are and to respond to some particular questions like: Who are you? What is your field? And what goals are you hoping to achieve in the next five years? You should have a script of how to answer them in mind.
13. Be tactful, courteous and appreciative. These three character attributes exudes professionalism in all ways.
14. Watch your attitude and demeanor at all times. Everyone you meet is a potential member of your network.
15. You may have to pay for advice and information. Paying consultants and going for workshops to gather information and learn additional skill will be of use always.
Photo Source: bet.com & german-african-partnerships.org